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June 30, 2010


I know nothing about poetry.  I vaguely remember hearing the term "iambic" sometime in a high school English class.  I have books of poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Ovid, Homer, and William Shakespeare.  It's a small, haphazard collection comprised mostly of books I was given.  Sometimes I have a look at them, and they frown back at me.  If books came alive like Disney creations, they'd shake their square heads in faux sympathy, clucking bookmark tongues and muttering amongst one another, "She just doesn't get it, does she?"

I enjoy poetry the same way I enjoy art.  I examine it and think it's beautiful or raw or vibrant; or I stare and wonder what I'm meant to see.  Whether I connect with a work or not, I always feel something's missing.  There's a piece of the puzzle I wasn't given.  The flaw isn't with the artist or the work, it's in me.  I don't know enough.

For the past couple weeks I've been especially aware of my ignorance.  At the archives, I've begun working with a collection that consists largely of poetry and essays.  I've begun to fall in love the way a kid does--all feeling and no brains.  But I'm no kid.  I want more.

Poetry feels too big to be self-taught, but I'm going to learn what I can.  I've checked out a book or two on forms of poetry and another on poetry writing exercises, and if nothing else, I'm excited to learn something new.  Each day as I write, I've been adding a poetry writing exercise to my regular work.  I have no visions of being a poet, but I'm having fun working with words in a new way.

I'm hoping to get suggestions on some great resources to help me along.  Any texts or sites you'd recommend for learning about poetry?  Any poets you love?  Any advice is greatly appreciated!      

1 comment:

James said...

If you like poetry, you could take a look at the following link to read, comment on, critique, and/or share poetry.